"Ampere shortage is not a real problem, it is a phenomenon to observe": NVIDIA CEO expects RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 shortages to last at least till early 2021
NVIDIA's consumer Ampere launch this year was met with both praise and criticism. While the launch garnered praise for the good performance shown by the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 GPUs, the cards were fraught with availability issues worldwide. It looks like easy availability of these cards will continue to be a distant dream for many for some more time, according to none other than NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang himself.
Answering the press in a Q&A session on the sidelines of NVIDIA's GTC 2020 announcements, Huang said,
I believe that demand will outstrip all of our supply through the year. Remember, we're also going into the double-whammy. The double-whammy is the holiday season. Even before the holiday season, we were doing incredibly well, and then you add on top of it the ‘Ampere factor,’ and then you add on top of that the ‘Ampere holiday factor,’ and we're going to have a really really big Q4 season."
The 3080 and 3090 have a demand issue, not a supply issue. The demand issue is that it is much much greater than we expected - and we expected really a lot.
Retailers will tell you they haven't seen a phenomenon like this in over a decade of computing. It hearkens back to the old days of Windows 95 and Pentium when people were just out of their minds to buy this stuff. So this is a phenomenon like we've not seen in a long time, and we just weren't prepared for it.
Even if we knew about all the demand, I don't think it's possible to have ramped that fast. We're ramping really really hard. Yields are great, the product's shipping fantastically, it's just getting sold out instantly. I appreciate it very much, I just don't think there's a real problem to solve. It's a phenomenon to observe. It's just a phenomenon."
Huang's words mean that prospective buyers will have to face shortages till the end of 2020 or may be even early 2021. The fact that the RTX 3070 launch has been postponed till October 29 means that NVIDIA has anticipated an even greater demand given the card's retail price and the expected performance gains compared to the RTX 2070.
Huang may be highly enthused from a demand point of view, but all that the customer hopes is not to be disappointed due to scalpers yet again.